A Walk Around My Country Garden -27 Mar 2020

When I planted this walkway of trees, I never knew how essential they were going to be. I must meander along these paths at least 20 times a day, lost in thought.

I’m sharing as many cheerful photos as I can find today. The covid crisis initially knocked me for six. I am desperately worried about all our elderly relatives. For all those expecting babies in the summer. For my young daughters, one a newly qualified nurse, working with desperately ill patients right now. If I could solve everything with walking, I would have worn out my shoes. It’s the first time in my life I have no answers. I can’t do anything to make it ‘right.’ Normally I can think of something. In every other crisis, I have found a solution. Something to make things better.

So I am turning to what I know. Gardening. Giving out advice to anyone who needs it. Families have struggled to buy fresh salads and veg these past few weeks. I certainly haven’t managed to obtain what I’ve needed. I couldn’t find bread, flour or milk. It’s made me feel vulnerable and determined to be more self reliant when it comes to fruit and veg at least. So anyone who needs grow-your-own advice can contact me and I will help. For specific individual garden design advice, how to start a cut flower garden, grow a meadow, deal with a shady border, I am asking for a donation to Rainbows Hospice direct, any amount and I don’t need to know how much. All my garden club talks have been cancelled, and as you know, all my fees go to Rainbows. The clubs have all rebooked for next year, but I wanted to do something for this year to help. So anyone interested, please e mail me at k.gimson@btinternet.com for more information. I am learning to Skype and FaceTime live, and also using the phone and computer. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, as my grandparents used to say. Funny how their little sayings come back to you in times of trouble. It’s as if they are trying to help you, even though they are no longer here.

Enjoy the slide show of photos. I hope it lifts your spirits and makes a difference. From now on, I am solely focusing on people who are doing good, sharing information about what they are doing, supporting them in any way I can. That really is the only way forward for me.

I took this video from the garden gate last night. It’s so heartening to see farmers out and about working their fields after such a dire autumn and winter. If they are out there preparing seed beds, then we can too in our own gardens. I shall be glad to see the green shoots of seedlings after a winter of brown, barren fields.

Hedgerow blossom. This looks like a shooting star to me. Such a beautiful sight. A heart-sing moment. The hawthorn too is coming into leaf. Soon there will be clouds of May blossom to cheer us along.

Lots of daffodils at the top of the paddock. These were a sack I bought from Dobbies at Christmas, reduced from £24 to £3. I couldn’t resist the bargain price, and took a risk. They’d been stored cool and dry so were in good condition. I didn’t expect flowers this year, but they are looking stunning. Every bulb has come up. I’ll water with a potash liquid to feed the bulbs for next year. And if I see another £3 sack, I’ll certainly buy it!

Yellow flowers symbolise friendship, and that is certainly what we all need right now to get us through this crisis. I’m relying on phone calls and my twitter friends to keep upbeat. I’ve just added my name to a list of local volunteers to ring round anyone who lives alone and needs someone to chat to once a day.

Today, the wild cherry trees (prunus avium) started to flower. What a wonderful sight. These trees only flower for a week or two, but we will sit under them with our cups of tea, have picnics outdoors and revel in every single moment they are in bloom.

My cut flower tulips are in bud. Tulips in the sunny front garden are already flowering early. I’ll cut a huge bunch of daffodils and tulips for the front windows. Vases of flowers will cheer up anyone passing by, even though they can’t call in to visit.

These double creamy tulips, Mount Tacoma, are favourites. They remind me of swan feathers. So graceful.

Scented narcissi, Geranium and Pheasants Eye, are starting to flower. Fabulous with yellow hyacinths and the first wallflowers.

In the greenhouse, the succulents are starting to glow. I’ve started to water everything, and I’m pleased this aeonium has come through the winter.

There’s plenty of citrus fruit coming along. I’ll be able to make orange cakes and lemon meringues soon.

Would you believe it, my new Polar Bear snowdrop is still in flower – at the end of March. It’s a new elwesii type of snowdrop with huge rounded petals and short pedicels which make the flowers look up and out rather than hang down. It looks rather surprised to be out in the spring sunshine amongst daffodils. I wonder if next year it will flower much earlier.

There’s life in the pond. The tadpoles are forming. Lots of pond skaters, some newts, and we’ve even spotted a grass snake, on our new wildlife camera set up on bank.

I’ve mounted the camera on a log, so I can move it about the garden without it being knocked over. Tonight we are hoping to catch sight of the hedgehogs. They are out and about at dusk, making nests in the bottom of the ‘fedge’ and under the old disused hen house.

Ladybirds are much in evidence. Here they are on the phlomis. My army of pest control workers. I’ve left twiggy piles of stems all around the garden to give insects a place to hibernate. Hopefully they will repay me by eating the aphids.

And there’s plenty of bees, thankfully. Bumble bees and solitary bees of all shapes and sizes. I have a new book to review, The Secret Lives of Garden Bees by Jean Vernon. I can think of nothing better than sitting under my cherry trees and loosing myself in a book. It will be something soothing and calming. Much needed at the moment.

Here’s an enormous bumble bee on the wild anemones. It’s lovely to have a book you can go to to learn more about the bees visiting your garden. And look at ways you can help them to thrive. Something positive to focus on.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this walk around my garden today. The sun is shining and it’s 30C in the greenhouse. All the windows and doors are thrown open. Get in touch and let me know what’s looking lovely in your garden today. And if you are feeling alone or sad, let me know. We are in this together. And be reassured that lots of people are doing wonderful things to help one another. You just have to look for the positives in life. As ever.

Love Karen xx

52 thoughts on “A Walk Around My Country Garden -27 Mar 2020

  1. Thanks, I always enjoy your walks.
    You have a good soul and it shines even brighter in these times. You do what you can and we’ll get through in spite of the hardships to come. All the best for your girls, they’re as strong as you think.
    Love the scented photo with the hyacinths and narcissus!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, that’s very kind of you. I hope they do have the strength to cope right now. What a way to start a career in nursing, with a pandemic. I told them to chose something they would always put their whole heart into. And that’s what they are both doing. Thanks for reading and sending such a nice message. Made my day xx

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  2. Your posts are always uplifting Karen, even though it is clear how much this crisis has thrown you off course. Your garden and the countryside around you is certainly soothing and focussing on the beauty of the nature around us is the only thing we can do right now. Your Aeonium looks sooo healthy! Mine never seems to grow much and sheds leaves constantly. Hope you get some sunny days for sitting under your blossom trees! 🌸🌸🌸

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Cathy. Sorry to say I sat still for 7 hours on the day I realised what was coming. It was a horrible lonely day because nothing had been announced by the govt, and I only knew because of reports back from the hospitals. And I knew what it meant. People would suffer and die. After that, I picked myself up, gave myself a good talking to, and focussed on what I could do to promote everyone doing good in the face of the crisis. That is all I can do. I can make a difference by promoting all the good in the world. Aeoniums need a dormant period over winter with no water from November to February. As temperatures rise, start to water and feed once a week. Water sparingly until May. May-July water every 3 days, but make sure the water flows through the pot and doesn’t pool. Good drainage is essential. It should be 50/50 grit and compost. I use seaweed feed. Good luck 😉 xx

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  3. Karen, your photos are magnificent: thank you very much for them because they make me forget these moments and give me much encouragement. How lucky to have those beautiful flowers and trees in your garden and be able to see them whenever you want. Karen other crises are not like this. The Covid-19 is a worldwide Pandemic that has not had another one like it since the beginning of the last century with the Spanish Flu. It is something so gigantic and brutal that even the governments of the countries cannot cope with it. You have to have calm, mental strength and know how to wait: the future will heal you like in China. That is what you have to do: GARDENING. And if you can help other people to make their vegetable and fruit garden do it, as well as designing gardens, cut flower gardens, ….. And since you are a person with a heart of gold, people make a donation Rainbows Hospice: You are their Fairy Godmother. Your dear Grandparents are helping you from heaven, that is why they leave you their little sayings so full of wisdom. That is fantastic: think only of the people who do good and support them, like the farmers who work their land to plant. Karen you also have to make beds of vegetable seeds, vegetables for self-sufficiency, and flowers to make your heart happy. Hedge flower makes me smile. Lovely daffodils and yellow means friendship. You have my friendship forever Karen, when you feel bad and need to speak, here you have me. And when you are well too. That’s my Karen, helping by calling people who need it. Wild cherry blossoms starting to bloom, I love them and I love the ideas you have to make admiring them. Your tulips about to bloom is wonderful. I love Tulip Mount Tacoma. Making bouquets with scented daffodils, the other flowers and yellow hyacinths, and putting them around the garden for people to see as they pass by, I love it. The exquisite orange tree. Snowdrop polar bear in bloom I love it. With your wildlife camera mounted on a log you make it portable and you can put it anywhere like in the pond and see its wildlife. Ladybugs are adorable. I’m so glad you have a lot of bees. Reading a book about them sitting under the cherry trees is the best thing you can do. A wonderful walk in your garden Karen, next to you. As you say “We are in this together” “… look for the positive aspects of life” Sorry for the long length of the comment, but I needed to let off steam and talk to you. A lot of encouragement, a lot of health, a lot of strength, positive thinking, hope and a lot of love for all your family, Mr B and especially for you Karen. Keep everyone safe. Take care. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx

    Liked by 1 person

      • Karen, that’s what friends are for helping each other in difficult times: you don’t have to be grateful to me for it. I am very glad that you are all well: we are also well, thank you. Stay safe and keep your spirits low. Affectionate caresses for Grace and Meg and a hug because I love them very much. Much love to all. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx

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  4. Hi Karen. I have just seen more of your garden than you have ever let me see before!! Looks great. Just been taking with Cathy. She asked if I am going to start the End of the Month View. Helen seems to have stopped hosting it.
    Any thoughts
    Steve xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Steve. That’s because I have hidden all the scruffy areas from view…🙂. I don’t know what to say about end of the month view. It might be best to call it something else and start a new meme. Helen owns that one, whether she uses it or not. Let me know and I’ll be pleased to join in. Lots of love. Oh I wish I could come over and sit in your garden and see the tulips and eat Diane’s delicious scones. I’m missing you both, very much xxx 😘 xxx

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    • That’s very good to hear. I think we are all trying to find a way through this. I’ve just been on the radio for an hour, and I had to mention that yes, the garden is looking gorgeous and yes, the daffodils are in flower and the hedges bursting into leaf. But somewhere else, someone is suffering – all over the world. And that takes the joy out of spring this year for the first time ever for me. The only thing I can do is look to see what wonderful ways people have found to support one another-and share that news. And this will bring hope and joy to everyone. Keep in touch. Thanks for reading. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Cathy. Stay in your own garden and home as much as you can. It is a frightening time for us all. But we can support one another as best we can. And spread joy as well. There are a lot of people doing good things. That is my motive in life now, to spread the word about what they are doing Xx

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  5. I had a complicated time bringing up your page, don’t ask how I eventually got to it to comment, I don’t exactly remember! It’s not an issue I have had before. All my other site visits went smoothly. It’s most odd.

    You obtain some lovely close-up floral pictures. What camera did you use for the busy bees?

    I have The Life Of Bees in my small pile of books. It comes with a recommendation from hubs. I will probably read it after my next two books.

    How are your girls? Talk about newly qualified NHS staff being tested. I truly admire all the hospital workers for their commitment and caring.

    Look after yourself and stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. Oh dear, that’s worried me. Could you have another go tomorrow and tell me if something is amiss please. I just used my i phone for all the photos. It’s old now, and starting to run out of battery power. But I can’t possibly justify buying a new one, so I’m limping along with this one, just having to charge it rather a lot. The girls are coping really well, although very tired. I’m not coping so well worrying about them. I’m afraid I have more information about the situation that is generally being released to the public, and so I know that a war is coming. There is nothing I can do but sit here, feed them when they come home and support them. The youngest now can’t come home. I’m not sure when she can come back again. What a nightmare. I’m keeping very busy and trying to do good works to keep me from thinking too much. Thanks again. Keep in touch xx

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      • We are sentient beings and I don’t believe we are obtaining the respect and honesty from our leaders that we should in times like these. It’s all about hiding unacceptable agendas.

        In Scotland we are receiving very clear communications about our responsibilities restrictions on movement and why, what there is or isn’t.

        To return to reply to you, I had the same difficulty. On both occasions I could not bring up your blog on the WP site through my browser notification. I went into the Reader on the site and brought up your post from there. I have clicked on ‘following’ again, Just in case, but I am not usually restricted to posts I follow.

        Whatever the glitch is, at least I got here!
        M x

        Liked by 1 person

      • All true. Because my daughters are working with patients, I had a heads up as to what was coming. I put my mum and my husband into self isolation a week before it was announced. And we will be here for a very long time. I hope people realise this is not just for three weeks. Keep safe. Lots of love. And thanks for preserving. Karen xx

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  6. How nice that you at least get to work in the garden. My work is the garden, and although I could go there, we are unable to go to work. Actually, I have been avoiding it. It saddens me that it is beginning such spectacular bloom, but no one will be here to see it. I will probably go get some pictures in a few days. At least people can see a bit of the bloom online that way. I will be working in the vegetable garden for now. It is great too, but nothing to get pictures of. Your daffodils are very impressive. I am pleased that ours bloomed before everything closed down. There were still people here to appreciate them. When I see tulips like yours, even if just in bud, it makes me want to grow them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Tony. I feel the same as you, usually there are friends popping round here to see my spring garden. Everything is bursting into life and looking fresh and lovely, and there’s only the family here to see it. And we are rather too distracted by worry to properly appreciate it. I feel like we have waited all winter for the lovely spring flowers, but I can’t be joyful with so many people ill with covid. Take care. Thanks for reading and getting in touch. Karen

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks so much for taking us on this peaceful walk through your garden, Karen. Your flowers and plantings are very beautiful, your place on earth so blissfully spacious. I enjoyed the video of the farmer, too. Your walkway of trees is especially inviting. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you 😊 Glad you enjoyed the tour of the garden. I’m planting wild violets and primroses all along that path today. They came from my grandfather originally many years ago, and have spread everywhere. There is space for them to grow. Thanks for reading and getting in touch. Best wishes. Karen

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